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World War II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier.
It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis.
Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Africa and Asia began.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
The German Empire was dissolved in the German Revolution of 1918–1919, and a democratic government, later known as the Weimar Republic, was created.
The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left.
Under the treaty, Germany lost around 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas possessions, while German annexation of other states was prohibited, reparations were imposed, and limits were placed on the size and capability of the country's armed forces.Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and to create a common identity.beginning with the German invasion of Poland; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and the two wars merged in 1941. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935.It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources.